Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rising to the Occasion

photo by TippingPoint
True Champions have the ability to rise to the occasion. They can get the job done when it counts. They don’t cave under pressure; they remain calm, execute the plan, take it to the next level, are in the right place at the right time, and fear nothing. Rising to the occasion can happen in a breakthrough workout, local race, world championship event, regional playoff, choosing between hitting the snooze button or rolling out of bed, or speaking up in the grocery store line. When it comes to crunch time, can you rise to the occasion?

Kaneland U8 White Football team didn’t rise to the occasion. They collapsed under pressure not making it to the playoffs. Devasting for 8 yr olds. They gave it their all.
Kaneland White preparing for playoffs
The unfamiliar shoot- out format of play on a late Sunday afternoon took them out of their element. Does this happen to you? Does everything have to be just right in your day to have a great workout, fabulous race, or can you rise to the occasion when its too hot, or too cold or under unfamiliar circumstances because you’ve rehearsed it and practiced it when its hot, when it rains, or when you’re tired.

Cyclocross is in full swing; actually we are down to only 2 races left in the Chicago Cross Cup :( To do well these days in the CCC you either have to win some races or race every weekend. I have finally clawed my way into the 6th place in the Women’s 1,2,3 ‘s of the series after a pathetic start to the season. Racing every weekend presents plenty of opportunity to rise to the occasion and every race is a little different all for the good of making you a stronger racer. I am still learning the strategies, because I have had the tendency to let girls sit on my wheel and do lots of the work (not trusting my fitness and being put in unfamiliar situations.) I came OH so close to the podium in Day 2 of Indian Lakes Races, but probably pulled too much all day and lost it in the last few turns of the race, not quite rising to the occasion. Lesson learned. But 2 4th place finishes in 1 weekend is the best I’ve ever done.
photo by JasonKlein

A client at work and I had a discussion about speaking up in regard to the politics of her son’s traveling team. Knowing when to keep your mouth shut, or speaking up is difficult. Sometimes bringing up an issue can have more long term consequences. Can you rise to the occasion when it’s appropriate? You know, speak up and say what no one else wants to. Sometimes it is appropriate to keep your mouth shut, other times its appropriate to speak up. Rising to the occasion is making the right choice. When someone cuts in front of you at the grocery store line with a cart full more than yours to you say “um, excuse me” I was here first, or do you let it slide, or just mutter it under your breath.

When you volunteer to host a family party to celebrate several birthdays amongst a weekend of football, cyclocross racing, Ironman training, and working with athletes can you pull it all together for a fun celebration with good food, family and friends. Rising to the occasion is doing it with a smile on your face, not caving under pressure, and party planning like a champion. This is great practice for larger events like hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas eve dinner amongst a busy work week, holiday shopping, bike racing, Turkey Trots, Christmas decorating.

don't worry, this isn't this year's tree; I'm not that organized

Practice rising to the occasion each day on small things so when its crunch time you can perform like a champion.

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